I think that Mickey Mouse can say it best…”Golly!” It’s hard to believe, but another year has gone by since our World Chapter’s last Christmas Parties “Mini Mouseketeer Reunion” bash. As always, our core entertainment group has come up with another “Magical” evening to celebrate the Christmas Holidays. This years’ theme is “The Voices of Disney”. This event was held at the beautiful “Republic Ballroom” at the Contemporary Hotel. In keeping with past events, this had a superb buffet, and a live and silent auction to benefit the “Walt Disney Pavilion” Florida Hospital for Children. Our club supports the Pediatric Bone Marrow Transplant Program at the Florida Hospital, the first and only of its kind in Central Florida. With many beautiful gifts and awards donated by club members and sponsors (Many are Disney Themed!) the auction of these items bring in much needed monies for the Program
This years’ event was super special in the entertainment department. Our theme, “The Voices of Disney” held some special surprises. To begin, we had two stellar performances by the “Liberty Voices” the renowned Acapella group “The Voices of Liberty” from the American Adventure Pavilion. The first performance was held just before dinner and the second, after the auctions. Singing beautiful Christmas selections, it was worth the price of admission in itself. For Die-hard Disney fans, the guest line-up of Disney luminaries was second to none. On hand this night was guest speaker Bill Farmer, legendary voice actor, known for his voicing of Goofy, Pluto and Horace Horsecollar. Bill was interviewed by our resident Disney Design artist, Alex Maher onstage. Bill recanted many tales of his years with Disney to the delight of all. In addition to the interview, Bill did an incredible rendition of the 12 days of Christmas, using a different voice for each day! I never heard anything quite like it.
The next Disney star to be honored was none other than Don “Ducky” Williams. With his Cinderella story of how he began his 30 plus years at Disney and known for his ability to draw almost
every known Disney character, Don was a treat for the club. Our chapter gave Don its Disneyana Fan club Legends award; and Don was so appreciative and gracious in receiving it, you would have thought he won an academy award! Another “Disney Legend” attending the festivities was none other than Tom Nabbe, Disneyland’s original “Tom Sawyer” Tom’s business card has on the back…”Walt Hired Me” And Walt did personally hire Tom. After getting a job selling the Disneyland News newspaper, a sort of pre-guide book done in turn-of-the-century script which also covered ongoing events at the park, he heard that Walt was planning a Tom Sawyer Island. Since he had red hair and freckles and looked like Tom Sawyer, he actually found Walt at the park and said he should hire him to play Tom Sawyer. Eventually Walt personally hired Tom for the job.
Another Disney Legend at our festivities was none other than Bill “Sully” Sullivan. Bill also has a “Cinderella Story” of working at Disney. Sully started at Disneyland on July 27th, 1955 and began as a “Jungle Bunny” a moniker given to those working as Jungle Cruise skippers. After three years as a “Skipper” Sully moved on to management and close to 40 years with the company, has been involved in countless company endeavors, finally being made a Disney Legend in 2005.
And what is a party without food and beverage. For my wife and me, we love Disney cuisine. Our buffet included items like Penne Pasta, Herb Marinated Turkey Breast, Honey Baked Ham, fruit, desserts and coffee and tea. There was also a cash bar for those who wanted more holiday “Cheer”
Also joining our party was the world-renowned sports and entertainment artist, Paul Madden. What started out as a hobby, Paul’s work has been given to over 400 entertainers and athletes. Elvis, Bob Hope, Wayne Gretzky and Joe Montana are just a few. Paul has been producing his beautiful artwork since 1972 and he produces many limited prints for charitable organizations. Paul joined us tonight and presented us with several one-of-a-kind Disney art pieces for our silent and live auction. Thanks to Paul and our other generous contributors, our chapter raised over $4,000.00 for the Florida Hospital.
In addition to all the entertainment and Christmas cheer, the greatest part of being a member of the World Chapter is the camaraderie we have amongst ourselves. The evening was spending talking about our favorite subject…Disney! Everyone feels a part of a huge family and it’s the place to be for any Disney enthusiast. The Disneyana Fan club is made up of Disney enthusiasts who are dedicated to preserving and sharing the rich legacy of Walt Disney through events, news and information. We are not for-profit organization. Our meeting is held bimonthly at the Fantasy World Clubhouse in Kissimmee Florida. At our meetings, we host guest speakers from all areas of Disney. We would love to have you join us…Contact us at: World Chapter of the Disneyana Fan Club, PO Box 470116, Celebration Florida- 34747-0116. Or click on Http://disneyananfanclub.org/content/join-world-chapter. Maybe we’ll see ya at the next event!
Bill Iadonisi provided this gallery full of images for you to enjoy!